Office Depot is making the most of its merchandise by promoting ordinary items like pens as thoughtful gifts for co-workers in a series of clever ads. In one spot, a germaphobic executive is given hand sanitizer. In another, a keyboard-drumming Death Metal fan is given headphones.
Dubbed the "Co-Worker Collection," the campaign was created by McCann, which has been the Boca Raton, Fla.-based office supply provider's agency of record for about a year. It marks a departure from last year's holiday message, when Office Depot promoted business-to-business gifting. Like last year, the campaign will be entirely digital, with spots airing in stores and online. Customers will also be able to pick-up "Co-Worker Collection"-themed stickers in stores and create their own online.
"It's a new, unexpected way to use office gear," said Tim Rea, exec VP-CMO, who is hoping the campaign will go viral. Through a survey, the company found that over 80% of workers will be buying gifts for a coworker or boss this year.
"The truth is, we all know our co-workers scary well," said Tom Murphy, co-chief creative officer at McCann New York, noting that anyone who has ever worked in an office could relate to the promotion. "We created a campaign that has a bit of fun with these co-worker quirks and idiosyncrasies."
Although the campaign creates the clever gifts through a snarky repackaging idea, the idea of creating a new collection for the holidays is slightly reminscent of U.K. retailer Harvey Nichols' cheeky series of Christmas gifts from 2013, the "Sorry, I Spent it on Myself" line, which went on to earn multiple Cannes Lions Grand Prix.